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What to Expect on Psych Eval

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  • What to Expect on Psych Eval

    Good evening guys,

    I'm in the final phase for my application and just completed a psych questionnaire in anticipation for my actual meeting with a psychologist next week. My question is, what should I expect in this meeting? Or more specifically, should I expect to be able to discuss my responses with them?

    The reason I ask is because I believe some of my responses may be disqualifying on the surface, but I also believe I have legitimate explanations for them. For that matter, I'd also be interested in hearing opinions on if my explanations are legitimate.

    For example, I said I am always polite to people. This seems like a gotcha question for "that one time" or something and my response will look like I'm trying to cover even minor flaws, but 1. I've been wracking my brain going back the last decade and can't even remember the last time I was rude to someone, in large part because I take after my dad who's practically Mr. Rogers. Even in the rare event he gets frustrated with someone, he's always courteous, and 2. My current employment puts me in a spotlight where I know it'll come back to bite me if I step out of line, inside or out of work.

    Another example is that I said I do not have complete confidence in my abilities. Seems to me that police officers can't be second guessing themselves and losing the initiative in a situation, and this response appears to go against that; however, I meant it as knowing I'm not perfect.

  • #2
    There are different types of police entrance psych exams, but if you were already able to fill out a questionnaire, you appear to be going before the psych evaluator where you will be able to discuss your answers. I admit to being a bonehead in my youth when I put "yes" on the question about thinking about suicide. I know the question is really about 'considering' suicide rather than just thinking about it, but I was just being truthful - yes, I have thought about suicide. In particular instances, my fellow Marines and I talked about suicide stating what we'd do if we were ever taken prisoner by the enemy and mercilessly tortured. We knew there were special heroes who went through a lot while being held captive, but most of us said we'd probably take ourself out if that had ever happened. So, yes, I thought about suicide - just never considered it for an actual bad incident in my life. After I explained it to him, he had no problem with my answer.

    Each psych evaluator will have different training and experiences, but I'm betting they will all ask you questions to get an idea where your mind is and how you deal with stress. They may ask you who the president is, who the vice president is, what day it is, what month does a certain holiday fall in, and then throw in other questions that may jar you like "have you ever thought about having sexual relations with someone below the age of legal consent?"

    Another thing you may get is the psych evaluator may give you 5 simple words to remember, and he/she will ask you to repeat those words when asked through the rest of the interview. Back in '87 during my first psych evaluation, the evaluator asked me to explain a Bible verse, particularly the one about "casting pearl before swine." The last evaluator I went to asked me to explain another saying, but I don't remember that now. Oh, back to the first one. The evaluator asked me where Mt Everest was, and he was surprised I told him exactly where it was.

    Also, be prepared to answer situational questions. I remember having some, but I don't remember any of them since it has been so long.

    So overalll, dress appropriately and just answer the questions to the best of your knowledge. I shouldn't have to tell you to be truthful, but be truthful. Evaluators can trip you up if you aren't, and of course, they are trained in deceitfulness.
    Last edited by angeredmgmt; 05-28-2021, 10:53 PM.

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    • Levithane
      Levithane commented
      Editing a comment
      I took one not long ago and it was more open ended than anything. The psychologist asked only a few questions from the 500+ questionnaire. He asked a lot of questions about my current job (I guess because I'm dealing with murderers, habitual drug users, a other offenders daily) and just general things. Theres definitely questions that everyone should answer yes, because otherwise it would just be a deceptive response. Its not really something that should be studied for, I'm sure people who do that end up getting negative remarks.

  • #3
    Another thing I had to do was fill out a sheet front and back with a leading word where you had to complete the sentence. If the sentence started out with "I", you had to complete the rest. Being front and back, that took a little time. The actual psych test was about 326 questions or so.

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    • #4
      Thanks for all the input guys. Like you've said, everyone does things a little differently, but it's some weight off to hear that open ended discussion is a pretty common component.

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